Robert E. Plaze is a partner in the Washington office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. Mr. Plaze counsels investment advisers, investment companies (and their boards of directors) and other industry service providers on regulatory and compliance matters arising under the federal securities laws. Before joining Stroock, he served as Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During his nearly 30 years of service with the Commission, Mr. Plaze was responsible for policy development and management of many of the key regulatory initiatives during that period affecting investment companies and investment advisers under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, including rules governing fund and adviser compliance programs, money market funds, fund corporate governance, personal trading, custody and brokerage practices, and prohibitions on “pay to play” practices.
Mr. Plaze is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, and serves as Chairman of its Investment Management Committee. His listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Plaze received both his AB and JD degrees from Georgetown University.
Robert Zakem (Bob) is a Director in the Investment Management Regulatory and Compliance practice. Bob has over 20 years of financial services experience, and specializes in in the design, implementation, and testing of Compliance and Supervisory Programs for investment companies, investment advisers, and broker-dealers, including policies and procedures, processes, and controls.
During the course of his career, Bob has served in senior legal, compliance or risk roles at AIG/SunAmerica, UBS Financial Services, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (including CCO of Merrill Lynch Alternative Investments), and most recently as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of RidgeWorth Capital Management.
Bob has been an industry leader participating on panels at numerous conferences over the course of his career. Most recently he served as Chair of the Investment Company Institute’s Chief Compliance Officer Committee and of its Intermediary Oversight Working Group, and was a member of its SEC Rules Committee.
Areas of Practice
Melanie Nussdorf is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe, where she is a member of the Tax and Employee Benefits groups.
Her practice spans the entire range of employee benefits, from the tax-based rules for qualified pension plans, to fiduciary issues, welfare benefits, and plan termination. Ms. Nussdorf's particular focus over the last several years has been fiduciary issues, including prohibited transaction exemption questions under ERISA, especially in connection with financial products and services. Ms. Nussdorf represents a number of financial institutions including major banks, investment advisers,brokerage firms, and insurance companies. In addition, she has particular experience in all aspects of the plan termination process, including issues of employer liability for poorly funded plans terminating in or outside of a bankruptcy proceeding. She has done substantial work on ERISA issues relating to hedge funds and private equity vehicles. She also has substantial experience with the exemption and advisory opinion process under ERISA and has worked extensively on legislative issues related to ERISA.
Ms. Nussdorf was counsel for age and sex discrimination at the Department of Labor prior to serving as Executive Assistant to the Solicitor of Labor from 1977-81. During this period, she had significant oversight responsibility for the department's legal work under ERISA. From 1981-84, she served as Special Counsel at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Select Seminars & Events
“Other Regulatory Regimes Affecting the Investment Management Industry,” PLI’s Investment Management Institute 2013
"Pension Plan Investment: Current Perspectives," Practising Law Institute's Conference, April 5, 2011
"ERISA Fiduciary Basics," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 23, 2011
"Investment Management Institute," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 10, 2011
"CFTC’s Proposed Business Conduct Standards for Swap Dealers: Costs and Consequences to Swap Dealers and Plans," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, January 25, 2011
"DOL’s Proposed Significant Expansion of the Fiduciary Definition," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, November 19, 2010
Expanded Roth Conversion Opportunity for Retirement Plan Participants
ERISA Advisory - $36.9 Million Awarded in ERISA Class Action Challenging Investment Selection and Compensation Paid to 401(k) Plan Recordkeeper
ERISA Advisory - Department of Labor Releases 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosure Regulations
ERISA Advisory - CFTC Announces New Swap Rules
ERISA Advisory - Labor Department Issues Final Regulations Addressing Provision of Investment Advice to Participants and Beneficiaries of Self-Directed Individual Account Plans and IRAs
ERISA Advisory - Proposed Regulation Redefining Fiduciary
ERISA Advisory - ERISA Advisory Council Makes Stable Value Fund Recommendations to Labor Department
Melanie Nussdorf Quoted in Pensions & Investments about Revamped Rules for Offering Investment Advice
Joseph is an Assistant Regional Director in the SEC’s New York Regional Office’s Investment Adviser/Investment Company examination program. Joseph started his career with the New York Regional Office as a Securities Compliance Examiner in 1986. Joseph was promoted to Branch Chief in 1990 and promoted to his current role in 1994. Joseph has supervised numerous examinations that have led to significant enforcement cases of investment advisers and investment companies. In June of 2014 Joseph was awarded the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award. This is the Commission’s highest honor and recognizes Joseph’s lifetime of major contributions to the work of the Commission. Joseph is a graduate of Hofstra University.
Barry P. Barbash is a co-head of the firm’s Asset Management Group and has been a practitioner in the asset management area for over 35 years. He combines deep private practice experience with extensive knowledge of the regulation of the asset management business, having, among other things, served from September 1993 until October 1998, as the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management.
Mr. Barbash has a diverse practice covering all aspects of the asset management business. He regularly advises investment managers and fiduciaries, independent directors and trustees, and mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, hedge fund, private equity fund and venture capital fund clients on a variety of transactional, compliance and regulatory matters. His areas of expertise include investment adviser operations, compliance procedures and policies and fund governance matters. He regularly represents buyers and sellers in asset management merger and acquisition transactions and restructurings and advises asset managers of all types in connection with administrative and court actions brought by securities regulators. He has particular experience and expertise dealing with “status” issues arising under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. He has, in addition to serving as the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, held staff attorney positions with the Division of Investment Management and the Plan Benefits Security Division of the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has responsibility for the administration of the fiduciary responsibility provisions of the U.S. federal employee benefit plans law. His practice has been focused on investment advisers, fiduciaries and securities regulation since 1978.
Mr. Barbash received a JD from Cornell Law School in 1978, and an AB (summa cum laude) from Bowdoin College in 1975.
Selected Significant Matters
David Grim (B.A., Duke University; J.D., George Washington University) is a partner at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, LLP in Washington DC. Dave has spent more than 20 years in public service at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, joining the Division directly from law school and rising to become its leader, serving as Director. He is a recognized leader in the asset management industry, having developed a legacy of regulatory policy for investment advisers and investment companies, including mutual funds, exchange traded funds, closed-end funds, business development companies, unit investment trusts, and variable insurance products, and oversaw the Division’s relationships with other key functions at the SEC, including the Division of Enforcement and the National Exam Program. Prior to his appointment as Director, Dave served in a number of capacities throughout the Division, including Deputy Director and Assistant Chief Counsel. While at the SEC, Dave was awarded the Supervisory Excellence Award, Capital Markets Award, as a member of the Asset-Backed Securities Rulemaking Team, Law & Policy Award for Dodd Frank implementation, and the Asset-Management Relations Award for leadership of Division reorganization.
Igor Rozenblit co-leads the Private Funds Unit at the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. The Private Funds Unit is dedicated to building expertise in and conducting examinations of advisers to private equity, hedge and other private funds. Previously, he was part of the Division of Enforcement’s Asset Management Unit.
Before joining the SEC, Igor managed the North American private equity funds portfolio of a large financial institution. Earlier, he was a private equity investment professional focused on investing in middle market companies.
Igor received a BS from the University of Michigan and an MBA from The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Lori A. Martin is partner in the Securities and Litigation/Controversy departments of WilmerHale, where she is resident in the New York office. She handles regulatory proceedings and litigation on behalf of investment advisers, open and closed-end investment companies, hedge funds, and broker dealers offering investment advisory services. She was selected as the “Mutual Funds Law Lawyer of the Year” in the New York area by The Best Lawyers in America® 2014. Prior to joining WilmerHale, she was First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.
Her publications include: “Litigation Under the Investment Company Act of 1940,” Vol. 2, Chapter 26 Mutual Fund Regulation (Practicing Law Institute, 2017) (Clifford E. Kirsch, ed.); “Supreme Court Endorses Gartenberg, But It's Not the Same Old Standard,” WilmerHale Client Alert (April 5, 2010) (with Matthew A. Chambers); “Enforcement Trends and Themes,” Investment Management Institute (Practicing Law Institute, 2007-2012); “State Regulators and the Mutual Fund Industry,” 39 The Review o/Securities & Commodities Regulation 219 (Nov. 15, 2006) (with Cristina Alger); and “Emails and the Recordkeeping Obligations of Investment Advisers,” 12 The Investment Lawyer 16 (February 2005).
Ms. Martin's recent speeches include: “Excessive Fee Litigation, Contract Renewal and Share Class Developments,” panel presentation at the PLI Basics of Mutual Funds and Other Registered Investment Companies 2018 conference (New York, New York) (May 14, 2018); “Investment Management: Enforcement and Litigation Trends,” panel presentation at the PLI Investment Management Institute 2018 conference (New York, New York) (April 30, 2018); “Key Legal and Regulatory Issues: Asset Management,” panel presentation at the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Regional Seminar (Boston, Massachusetts) (June 7, 2017); and “Valuation Issues, SEC Examinations & Enforcement Actions,” panel presentation on a webinar co-sponsored by Deloitte & WilmerHale (June 19, 2013).
Ms. Martin graduated with honors from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1988, where she was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review. She graduated with honors from Wellesley College in 1985.
Paul F. Roye is a senior vice president and senior counsel of the Fund Business Management Group of Capital Research and Management Company ("Capital Research"); director of Capital Research; member of Capital Research Executive Committee; vice chairman and trustee of the Capital Group Private Client Services Funds, Capital Group Emerging Markets Total Opportunities Fund and Emerging Markets Growth Fund, Inc.; executive vice president, principal executive officer and trustee of Washington Mutual Investors Fund; executive vice president and principal executive officer of Growth Fund of America, American Funds Fundamental Investors and SMALLCAP World Fund; and senior vice president of American Balanced Fund, The Income Fund of America and Investment Company of America.
Prior to joining Capital Research in 2005, he was Director of the Division of lnvestment Management for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he worked for three SEC Chairman and was among the most senior financial services regulators in the United States, with principal oversight for the investment management industry and public utility holding companies. During his tenure, he received the Chairman's Award of Excellence, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an SEC staff member. Prior to becoming director, he was a member of the Washington office of the law firm of Dechert, where he was a partner in the firm's Financial Services, lnvestment Management and Corporate Securities Practice Group, specializing in the area of institutional investor law. His practice involved providing advice and assistance to a wide variety of domestic and foreign investment companies, as well as investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks and insurance companies.
Paul holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, where he was Note and Comment Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. He also holds an A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Paul serves on the Investor Issues Committee of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni and Friends of the Legal Resources Centre of South Africa. He also serves on the Executive Council of the Federal Bar Association.
Paul is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.
Peter E. Haller is a partner in the Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Department and practice leader for ERISA fiduciary issues.
Mr. Haller advises clients on their employee benefit plans and programs, with an emphasis on the fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction rules under ERISA, including the DOL guidance and court decisions arising out of the Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions. He has significant experience with ERISA issues raised by hedge funds, private equity funds and financial institutions and their broker-dealer, asset management and private bank affiliates. Mr. Haller represents clients with their prohibited transaction exemption requests before the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration. He also advises on ERISA and other employee benefits matters in connection with corporate transactions involving asset management and financial services firms.
Mr. Haller chairs the New York City Bar Association subcommittee on ERISA Fiduciary Duties, Private Equity and Plan Investments. Mr. Haller also serves as an adjunct professor and teaches a class with Barry Barbash at Georgetown University Law Center and Howard University Law School on ERISA Fiduciary Duties and the Regulation of Private Funds. He is also a frequent speaker and lecturer on a wide variety of employee benefits and ERISA related topics.
Prior to returning to Willkie in 2015, Mr. Haller was counsel for Credit Suisse in New York, where he served as the global head of the ERISA and Executive Compensation practices, and head of the U.S. Bank Regulatory practice. In this role, he advised Credit Suisse with the development and offering of complex financial products in their investment banking and asset management divisions. Mr. Haller is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Haller received a JD from Boston College Law School in 1993 and a BS in accountancy (cum laude) from Bentley College in 1988, where he received the Falcon Society Award for academic achievement.
Phillip S. Gillespie joined SSGA in June 2008 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In that role, Phil is responsible for the global legal affairs of SSgA and oversees a team of experienced attorneys, paralegals and assistants located in Boston, London, Paris, Tokyo, Montreal, Hong Kong and Sydney. He is a member of SSgA's Executive Management Group.
Phil joined SSgA from OppenheimerFunds, Inc. (OFI) where he was Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and responsible for the day-to-day operations of OFI's Legal Department. Prior to joining OFI in 2004, Phil was First Vice President - Legal Advisory at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), where he managed a team of attorneys and paralegals providing legal services and oversight for MLIM's U.S. based investment teams, operations and its U.S. registered fund business.
From 1993 to 1997, Phil was an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its Washington, D.C. headquarters holding posts as Senior Counsel in the Legal Policy and Counseling Group of the SEC's Office of the General Counsel and as Senior Counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel of the SEC's Division of Investment Management.
Prior to joining the SEC, Phil was an associate in the corporate finance practice of the Seattle law firm, Perkins Coie, and started his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles Clark, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Phil is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and earned his JD, magna cum laude, from Tulane Law School. He is a native of the state of Mississippi.
Sean M. Murphy is a partner in the New York office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Group. Prior to joining Milbank in 2004, Mr. Murphy was a partner in the New York office of Clifford Chance LLP, where he was a member of that firm’s Securities Litigation practice group.
Mr. Murphy’s practice focuses on complex securities matters. He has defended dozens of companies and financial institutions in multi-jurisdictional class action and derivative litigation under state and federal securities laws, including claims under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. He has extensive experience representing investment advisers and mutual fund boards in litigation and regulatory investigations involving management fees, revenue sharing, conflicts of interest, prospectus disclosure, distribution and trading, ERISA prohibited transactions, portfolio mismanagement, Rule 12b-1, board oversight and fiduciary duty litigation. He represents clients in regulatory and enforcement proceedings before the SEC, CFTC, FINRA and state regulators.
Mr. Murphy has represented some of the largest financial institutions in the country and has extensive experience trying securities cases, including multi-billion dollar cases.
Mr. Murphy has spoken on dozens of panels about complex litigation and regulatory issues, and has written a number of articles. He also co-authored portions of the textbooks titled Practice Before the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation and Litigating Securities Class Actions. Mr. Murphy received his B.A. from St. Lawrence University, and his J.D. from Albany Law School-Union University.
Stephanie R. Breslow is a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where she is co-head of the Investment Management Group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Operating Committee. Currently, Stephanie actively represents more than 50 fund complexes, and her practice includes investment management, partnerships and securities, with a focus on the formation of liquid-securities funds (including hedge funds, hybrid funds, credit funds and activist funds), private equity funds (including LBO, mezzanine, distressed, real estate and venture) as well as providing regulatory advice to investment managers. She also represents fund sponsors and institutional investors in connection with seed-capital investments in fund managers and acquisitions of interests in investment-management businesses and funds of funds and other institutional investors in connection with their investment activities, including blockchain technology and virtual currency offerings and transactions.
Stephanie has received the highest industry honors. Among many other recent accomplishments, Stephanie was named to the inaugural Legal 500 Hall of Fame in the category of “Investment Fund Formation and Management: Alternative/Hedge Funds.” The Legal 500 Hall of Fame singled out Stephanie as among the select “individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence.” Launched in 2017, the Hall of Fame highlights “the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession.”
Stephanie is also listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, IFLR1000, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (which ranked her one of the world’s “Top Ten Private Equity Lawyers”), Who’s Who Legal’s “Thought Leaders,” Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers (which ranked her at the top of the world’s “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” list), Expert Guide to the Best of the Best USA, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Law Lawyers, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law and PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook, among other leading directories. Stephanie was named the “Private Funds Lawyer of the Year” at the Who’s Who Legal Awards 2014 and the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s “Best in Investment Funds” at the inaugural Americas Women in Business Law Awards. Stephanie is also recognized as one of The Hedge Fund Journal’s 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds.
Recently serving as chair of the Private Investment Funds Subcommittee of the International Bar Association, Stephanie is a founding member and former chair of the Private Investment Fund Forum. Stephanie is highly sought-after speaker on fund formation and operation and compliance issues, and she regularly publishes articles on the latest trends in these areas.
Stephanie co-authored Private Equity Funds: Formation and Operation (Practising Law Institute) and Hedge Funds: Formation, Operation and Regulation (ALM Law Journal Press). She contributed a chapter on “Hedge Fund Investment in Private Equity” for inclusion in PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook 2005/06 (Practical Law Company), contributed a chapter on “Advisers to Private Equity Funds — Practical Compliance Considerations” for Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds Regulation, Volume 2 (Practising Law Institute), and wrote New York and Delaware Business Entities: Choice, Formation, Operation, Financing and Acquisitions (West) and New York Limited Liability Companies: A Guide to Law and Practice (West).
Stephanie earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and her B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University.
Maria is a Principal in Deloitte’s Regulatory and Operations practice and is part of the team leading Deloitte’s initiatives around recently adopted rules affecting the investment management industry. Working within Deloitte's Center for Regulatory Strategies, she focuses on regulatory and compliance matters for Deloitte's investment management clients including investment advisers, wealth managers, mutual fund complexes, hedge funds and private equity funds. Over her 20-plus year career as an attorney, Maria has acquired extensive experience on a broad range of issues and transactions affecting clients in the investment management industry. She has advised clients on regulatory, compliance and transactional matters involving registered investment companies, business development companies, ETFs, private funds and their investment advisers, including in connection with regulatory examinations, inquiries and impact analysis.
Ms. Gattuso has served as co-chairperson of the 100 women in hedge fundsTM Legal Peer Advisory Counsel and the Women’s Investment Management Forum. She has served as an adjunct professor of law of Georgetown University Law Center, where she has taught classes on investment management law.
Ms. Gattuso has participated in conference panels, including those sponsored by the Investment Company Institute, NICSA and Practicing Law Institute regarding important issues affecting the asset management industry. Topics presented on have included compliance related matters, the DOL Fiduciary Rule, Mutual Fund Modernization, Liquidity Rule, Pay-to-Play regulations, registration requirements for investment advisers, registered closed end funds and business development companies.
Ms. Gattuso is fluent in Spanish.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Ms. Gattuso was most recently a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Prior to that, she was a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP.
University of Pennsylvania JD, 1994
State University of New York at Stony Brook BA, 1990
Jason Bortz is a senior vice president and senior counsel at Capital Group, the investment manager to the American Funds. He has been practicing law for 20 years. Throughout his career, Jason has worked on tax and retirement plan issues. Prior to joining Capital, Jason was a partner with Davis & Harman, LLP in Washington, D.C. Before that, he was a law clerk for a federal court of appeals judge. He holds a juris doctorate degree from Cornell Law School and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hamilton College. He is a contributing author to several books, including the 403(b) Answer Book, the Annuities Answer Book, The Complete Guide to Nonprofits and BNA’s Tax Management Portfolio on Cash or Deferred Arrangements. He is a member of the California, New York and Washington, D.C. bars. Jason is based in Los Angeles.
John is an attorney in Legal and Compliance. He currently leads the US Capital Markets team, which has primary responsibility for matters relating to Wellington Management’s capital markets activities. John is vice-chair of the firm’s Trading Policy Review Group and a member of the firm’s Corporate Governance Committee.
Prior to joining Wellington Management in 2004, John worked at MFS Investment Management, where he was senior counsel with responsibility for legal issues in the firm’s fund distribution and investment compliance areas and supported the firm’s offshore fund business (2001 – 2004). Prior to MFS, he practiced securities law at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP (1995 – 2000).
John earned both his JD (1995), cum laude, and his BA (1992), magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston College.
Michael Sackheim is senior counsel in the New York office of Sidley Austin LLP where he concentrates on derivatives regulatory, transactional and enforcement matters. Michael is a past Chair of the New York City Bar Derivatives Regulation Committee, and he is the managing editor of Futures & Derivatives Law Report (Thomson Reuters, publ.). Michael is also the co-editor of a new legal treatise, The Virtual Currency Regulation Review (November 2018, Law Business Research Ltd).
Philip L. Kirstein was the Independent Compliance Officer and Senior Officer to the Boards of the AllianceBernstein U.S. registered investment companies from October 2003 until December 31, 2017. Previously, he was the General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, LP (formerly Merrill Lynch Asset Management) from May 1984 through March 2003 and was Of Counsel to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP from October 2003 until October 2004.
Mr. Kirstein is a member of the New York City Bar Committee on the Investment of Funds and a past Chair of the New York City Bar Committee on Investment Management Regulation. He is also a former member of the American Bar Association Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities, Subcommittee on Investment Companies and Investment Advisers; and a former member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of ICI Mutual Insurance Company and the Planning Committee of the Investment Company Institute/Federal Bar Association Mutual Fund Conference.
Mr. Kirstein was a member of the Independent Directors Council Task Force that prepared the Board Oversight of Fund Compliance Report. He is a frequent panelist at conferences regarding investment company legal, compliance and regulatory issues.
Mr. Kirstein is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), College of Law, Syracuse University and School of Law, New York University.
Mr. Kirstein is a former member of the Board of Directors of Cancer Care of New Jersey and a former member of the board of Directors of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Central and South Jersey affiliate. He is currently on the Investment Committee of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc. He retired as a Captain of the United States Naval Reserve.
Susan Olson is Chief Counsel of ICI Global, after serving as the Investment Company Institute's Senior Counsel for International Affairs since 2007. Before joining ICI, Olson served in the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). At the SEC, Olson worked in the international branch of the Division’s Office of the Chief Counsel, where she resolved legal issues arising under the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisers Act, and provided guidance for trade negotiations. She also participated as an SEC representative on the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) Standing Committee 5, focusing on the regulation of mutual funds and other collective investment vehicles. Before joining the Commission, Olson worked in private practice. She received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her law degree from the University of Virginia.
W. Danforth Townley is an Attorney Fellow in the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in New York and Washington, D.C. Mr. Townley participates in rulemaking activities of the Division and provides advice on policy initiatives affecting the asset management industry. Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Townley was a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, advising clients on the structuring and offering of hedge funds, private equity funds and other investment vehicles and advising on regulatory compliance with the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisers Act. Mr. Townley has been practicing in New York City for most of his career; he also worked for several years in the Hong Kong and Tokyo offices of Davis Polk. Mr. Townley received his J.D. from the Yale Law School in 1985 and graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in History in 1979. He clerked with U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet from 1985-86.